Archive for April 5th, 2013

rough draft
I know this is an ugly picture. This is my journal page after struggling all day long with the double dactyl form. Ugh! I almost gave up. It was like a puzzle or a really hard math problem. Although, had it been a really hard math problem, I would have given up hours ago. I shared this process with my students. They could see me struggling. I would call them to attention and test it out, then shake my head, “No, not yet.”

The double dactyl form has so many requirements. I used to think rhyming was hard, but rhythm is harder. A dactyl is a long, short, short syllable pattern. Then there’s this rule that the second stanza has to have a double dactyl word. And who has ever heard of a spondee?

Most of the examples I read had a person’s name for the second line. I decided to use a book character and who better than the tragic character of Miggery Sow from The Tale of Despereaux? I found out by reading my poem aloud to my last group of students that you can’t quite “get it” if you haven’t read the book. I have to credit my fifth grade boys with the last line. High fives all around when they came up with that one.

My students are writing poetry like mad over at our kidblog. Please check them out and leave a comment or two. They love comments.

Now for my attempt to capture Miggery Sow in double dactyl.

Higgledy Piggledy
Miggery Sow was a
young girl who longed to be
princess like Pea.

Handful of cigarettes
perfidiously swapped;
Birthday wave brings forth a
queen wannabe.


Join Poetry Friday with Robyn Hood Black.

Join Poetry Friday with Robyn Hood Black.

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